Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie



September 15, 2017

Aztec City Manager, Joshua Ray

After more than seven years as Aztec City Manager, Josh Ray is resigning to take another city manager position in Lago Vista, Texas. Ray said, "I spoke to the mayor last night and gave her my 60 day notice." Ray said that money was not a motivating factor in his decision. "It's not about the money" Ray said in a phone interview with the TALON on Wednesday.

On Aug. 22, the city commission approved a new two-year employment agreement with Ray guaranteeing him a base salary of $110,669 plus an annual vehicle allowance of $8,296, and mileage reimbursement. According to the agreement, if Ray had been terminated he would receive severance pay equal to six months of basic pay. Since he resigned he will receive no compensation.

Ray plans to use the next two months working with the mayor and the city commission to ensure a smooth transition. "My goal is to do whatever is necessary keeping in mind the best interest of the residents of Aztec."

The city manger is responsible for the smooth operation of the cities various departments. He or she hires department heads and they answer to him/her. The city manger in turn answers to the city commission which conducts at least two annual performance reviews.

"Aztec has been wonderful to me and my family and I am thrilled to have lived here, I'll never regret that decision." Ray continued, "Working along-side Mayor Burbridge has been a blessing, and we have some really great commissioners." Ray expressed positive working relationships with the department heads during his tenure, "We have all worked together really hard for the betterment of the community and I think we have accomplished a lot. I hope, and believe the city is better-off now then before I came here."

When asked to comment on Ray's resignation Commissioner Katee McClure said simply, "I hope he enjoys Texas." She quoted Buddhist thought and said, "Everything in life is impermanent." McClure explained, "We all knew he was looking for another job. We knew this could happen, so it wasn't a shocker." As for the future McClure said, "It's on to the next step. Obviously we have to have a city manager." Will the commission hire an interim city manager before the election? "We will talk about what to do in a closed session meeting on September 22."

Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge said that she did not find Ray's resignation so soon after negotiating a new contract an unusual occurrence. "We review the contract every year, you know so the new agreement didn't really have any bearing on his (Ray's) decision." As for Ray's tenure as city manager Burbridge said, "What most people may not remember is that when he was hired we had a back-log of between 40 and 50 projects, including sewer reconstruction which is now done, totally complete. There was the reservoir 3 project, and Tiger Park, so these are big projects and to date everything on that list has been completed except the East Aztec Arterial Route (truck route by-pass)." Burbridge contended, "As in any relationship, professional or personal there have been ups and downs but in seven and-a-half years he did a tremendous job overall. We have accomplished a huge amount of work." Burbridge continued, "I wish him (Ray) and his family all the best." Burbridge said, "Looking forward, it will be interesting to see what direction our governing body will take in the future."

After serving three terms in office Sally Burbridge has decided not to seek another term as mayor. "It's time for me to move on and do other things." The mayor will be decided by city commissioners in March. Meanwhile Burbridge is planning a trip to Canada next week for an International Economic Development Council conference and promises to bring good news for the community upon her return, "I will have a message to the community on the whole and for potential candidates who might consider running in the future."


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